I’m Unadopting You

Should parents who adopt a child be allowed to unadopt them if they discover mental disabilities later? A Virginia couple has done just that. In 2003, the 12 year old boy they adopted sexually molested a 6-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl still in diapers. At that time, case workers revealed the medical records of the 12 year old boy. The records were shocking. They revealed that the boy’s biological parents were drug addicted alcoholics who abused him. The records also indicated that the boy had been hospitalized seven times in psychiatric institutions and diagnosed as possibly psychotically bipolar. The couple claims that the social worker did not reveal this information, and if they had known they would have never adopted the young man. The deciding factor to unadopt was when psychologists informed them that he was a “sexual predator.” This meant that the couple could not have their three grandchildren in their home nor could they continue to be foster parents. They were forced to choose between their grandchildren and foster children or their adopted son.

In the state of Virginia, if the child is older than 14 the child must give consent for a parent to terminate their parental rights. The young man won’t consent, he wants this couple to be his parents forever. Can you feel my heart breaking? I have mixed emotions about this situation. First, I believe that the couple should have been told about the boy’s mental state. Second, I believe that you are a mother and father for life. You take the good and the bad with your child, right? I’m not judging this couple none of us know what’s in store for us when we commit to parenthood, but how do you tell your child that you no longer want them. This had to be a difficult decision for any mother. If my son was seen as a sexual predator, and I had grandchildren and other children in the home would I have made the same decision? Yes, I believe I would have chosen to unadopt him as well.

This is not the first court case to unadopt a child. The first was in 1986. An Ohio couple was told the 16-month-old they adopted was a healthy infant born to a teenage mother. When it was determined later the child had a fatal disease and displayed mental disorders, the parents discovered he was born to two middle-age mental patients. I’m sure this happens often there are so many children waiting to be adopted. Is this deception? In my opinion yes. This is information that would influence a couple’s decision to adopt. It certainly would be a major factor in my decision to adopt.

The state of Virginia has relieved the couple of their custodial rights only, they must pay $427.00 per month in child support and cover any court costs that may be incurred by the boy in the future. The state has placed the boy in foster care. The couple don’t believe they should have to pay child support, and they are looking to politicians to help them out. They believe they were deceived. What’s the chances of this young man growing up to be a productive human being? How many children will he harm when he’s on his own? What will be his attitude toward women in the future? What does the future hold for the two children that he’s already molested? What a heartbreaking story.

Breastfeeding and Intelligence

A recent study in Scotland revealed that breastfeeding does not make babies more intelligent. Scientist say that breastfed babies have advantages including reducing infections, respiratory illnesses and diarrhea, but enhancing a child’s intelligence does not appear to be among them. Studies show that higher IQs in babies are a result of the mother’s IQ, not because the baby was breastfed.

A person’s IQ is unrelated to their heart and character. Highly educated and intelligent people have been exposed as some of the most wicked people on the face of the earth, and those who can bearly read or write have hearts of gold. I believe that breastfeeding is a personal choice, but whatever method a mother chooses to feed her child she should be comfortable with her choice and strive to rise a healthy, productive human being.

Do You Text Message?

Are you the mother of a teen? Have you invested in a cell phone? If not, you may want to consider it. Text messaging is the in thing among our youth, and it is saving lives. I recently wrote an article, Mom Don’t Embarass Me. In short, the article gives tips to parents who have teens that are trying to find themselves. I suggested that parents give their teen space, but keep a check on their whereabouts and friends. This step could require a cell phones and a family plan. You can reach them 24/7 and they can reach you.

When I purchased my cell phone, text messaging was a feature that I didn’t think I would use. My 27 year old daughter, who must keep up with the lastest trend, text messages often. I decided to learn how to communicate via text as well. I’m glad I did. I’ve read several articles recently, where people have sent a text message and in the end it saved their life. A text message was also a means of sending a love one a last message before a life was lost. I never looked at text messaging as a means of survival or a tool that could be used if I’m ever in a bind, but I’m glad that I’m keeping up with technology. Most importantly, it’s another means of communicating with my child.

A Moral or Immoral Message?


When I read articles on the current teen trends I’m thankful that I have successfully raised my daughter and I don’t have to deal with these issues personally. If your daughter wanted you to purchase this T-shirt for her, what would be your reaction? What kind of message is this sending? Should we encourage our teenage daughters to involve themselves in another person’s relationship? The message clearly states “Stealing your boyfriend”, which tells me that the teen knows that the young man is involved with someone else. How could this be rewarding? There’s an old saying, if he did it to her why wouldn’t he do it to you? Meaing, if a man/young man would leave his wife or girlfriend for you what will stop him from leaving you for another? Most importanly, what happens to her reputation? Is this truly how a young lady would want to be remembered?

During our mother/daughter talks, I had this conversation with my daugher, hoping that she would remember these words during her teenage years and as an adult. Not once did I think I would see this act advertised! What pleasure can one possibly have if what they have accomplished hurts another in achieving it? During our conversation, I asked my daughter how she would feel if someone would interfer in her relationship with her boyfriend? She dated the same young man throughout high school and her first year of college, so I knew those questions would have a profound impact on her.

Could the person who designed this T-shirt really believe that stealing another person’s boyfriend is priceless? I believe in freedom of speech and I’m not judging anyone’s lifestyle, but I do believe that we should really think about the messages that we send our teens and the clothing that we promote for them. You can believe that there will teenage girls who will wear this shirt proudly, and act on it. We wonder why the world is in the state that it is in!

We Remember You: 2,996 Victims

2996: A Tribute To The Victims of 9/11


Today marks the 5th year of the World Trade Center tragedy. I am honoring the life of Nancy Carole Farley, 45, who was a World Trade Center victim on September 11, 2001. Mrs. Farley resided in Jersey City, NJ with her husband Robert. She worked as a Claims Negotiator for Reinsurance Solutions Inc., on the 94th floor at 1 World Trade Center.

Nancy was the youngest of three children and a cat lover. Although she owned three, she feed the neighborhood strays and if necessary she would take them to the Vet. If there was a snowstorm and she saw a cat, she would bring it in,” recalled Linda Selnow, Nancy’s older sister. “She had the most caring heart.”

Nancy was preceded in death by her father, who passed away when she was in high school. Her mother passed away 10 years ago.

It is a priviledge to honor Mrs. Farley’s life today. Although I didn’t know her personally, I will always remember this picture and her smile. I hope that you will take a moment to reflect on her life as well. I am also honoring Jeffrey J. Shaw on my blog, The Talk Around Town. Please visit a few of the other 2996 blogs who are honoring World Trade Center victims as well by clicking on the above link.

May Mrs. Farley’s family and friends be blessed.

School Sued For Ignoring Bullies

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This post is a follow-up of my July 23, 2006 post Don’t Bully My Child. Casey County High School in Kentucky is being sued because administrators and teachers failed to take the appropriate action to protect five students on school grounds from bullies. In my previous post, I stated that parents should meet with school officials, and ensure that their child is safe while they’re on school property. Here’s a story of the parents and students taking the appropriate action and receiving nothing in return.

Rachel Weddle has a bald spot from when a bully pulled her hair and punched her in the face at school. Bethany Buis received letters with death threats and eventually transferred schools. Lacy Griffith skipped her high school graduation fearing harassment. Charissa Gosser was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder, which involves feelings of depression or anxiety. Nikki Rayborn spent most of her time at school trying to avoid bullies. These are the five students that are suing for unspecified damages.

The suit states that school administrators told the girls and their parents on several occasions that nothing could be done by the school to stop bullying. One student was told to “ride it out.” The vice principal told one student that she needed to “toughen up. ” The lawsuit also stated that a teacher witnessed a physically aggressive act against one of the girls, and responded, “Whew, she’s mad at you.” One student stated that the vice principal told her that she “got more trouble than most girls” because she was pretty. ”

How can students get an education when they spend the day avoiding bullies, defending themselves, or reporting the harassment and hearing administrators tell them that they can’t protect them? I believe that it’s unfair for a child to miss their high school graduation, one of the most important and memorable days of their life, because they’re afraid of being bullied. I also believe that it is unfair for a student who is being harassed to have to transfer to another high school to avoid the harassment. Why not transfer the bully? I find it hard to believe that school administrators haven’t received training to handle school bullies. Personally, I won’t spend a lot of time, energy, or money on school bullies. Call the parents into the school, turn the problem children over to the parents, and remove them from the system until they learn self-respect, self-control, self-esteem, and learn to respect their school and fellow students. I believe the problem starts at home, and that’s where it needs to be worked on and corrected.

Did these school administrators fail these students and parents? If school administrators don’t know how to handle bullying, they can use State Senate Bill 1621 co-written by 15 year old Caitlyn Nolan in Tenneesee as an example. Nolan was bullied in middle school for years by the same person. She said she lived in constant fear. Administrators say Nolan was a prime target because she was an overachiever, president of the school council and an honor student. I thought these were traits that all parents and administators wanted to see in students, but bullies despise these type of students. Caitlyn said, “When she was pushed face first into her locker, she decided to take action.” She lobbied for guidance on how to deal with bullies in her school district. Her bill goes into effect just in time for the new school year. Caitlyn hopes the bill “shines a light on the problem that students are facing.” Congratulations Caitlyn for stepping up and taking action!

Britney Spears – Bad Mother or Bad Press

Lets set aside the image that we have of Britney Spears smacking gum while interviewing with Matt Lauder, and the lastest image of her posing on the cover of Harper’s magazine and ask, Is Britney a bad mother or is she receiving bad press? I believe she’s just making mistakes as a young mother. I look back over my experiences as a first time mother, and I know that I made my share. I thought I knew everything, but boy was I clueless. Thank goodness no harm came to my child.

Lets look at Britney’ mistakes as a new mother that have been so high publicized: Driving on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu with her son, Sean, on her lap. There’s a law that requires children to be in car seats not on a parent’s lap in a moving vehicle. She stated she was “country”, and she used to do the same with her father. Being country is a poor excuse when it comes to a child’s well being, and she must learn that her child’s safety must always come first. I chalked this up as a young and inexperienced mother who’s fear of the paparazzi caused her to make a poor decision. Did she have a car seat in the back of the vehicle? If so, we know that she follows the law for the most part.

Second, losing her balance while she was carrying her son on a cobblestone sidewalk in New York. I guarantee this has happened to thousands of mothers wearing high heels that weren’t walking on coblestone. We’re just not important enough to have a 100 paparazzi surrounding us with flashing cameras at the moment. This incident doesn’t make her a bad mother either, but she may want to consider the type of shoes that she wears when she has her baby in tow. Another learning experience.

Third, Sean ‘s fall from the highchair. It seems that the baby was in the care of the Nanny when the accident happened, not mom or dad’s care. The report stated that the child slipped from the nanny’s hands. How can they hold this poor girl accountable for an accident and she was not around? I’m sure she investigated the nanny thoroughly before hiring her, and she found the nanny to be competent. What mother would leave her child in the custody of someone who was not capable of caring for her child properly? She doesn’t appear to be unintellegient or backwards just young and experienced.

From a mother’s perspective, I wouldn’t be giving this nanny a second chance to drop my child. She would have been fired. I didn’t hear news that Britney fired her. If she didn’t fire her, she must have believed her story and continued to have trust in her. Of course that is her prerogative. Again, children fall everyday and the accidents don’t make us bad parents. They’re looked at for what they are, accidents. Why should the incidents with Britney, which I believe have been blown out of proportion, make her a bad parent?

Will Britney’s real challenge as a mother come when she gives birth to her second child, and little Sean is a toddler? No, she’ll miss some of the real tests because she’ll have a nanny to help prepare meals, give Sean his bath while she attends to the new baby, assist with potty training, etc. etc. Her challenge will be fending off the paparazzi who will be waiting for her next mistake with their cameras in tow. Bad mother or bad press?

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Foreign Baby Names Banned

Authorities in the city of Chihuahua, Mexico are enforcing a new set of rules. They are dictating to parents on what they can name their children. Now the authorities state they have the children at heart. They are trying to prevent children from a lifetime of ridicule and legal troubles. I’ve never known anyone to be arrested or encounter legal problems because of their name, but I have seen a few names where they should have locked the parents up for giving it to their child. I’ve often wondered what people were thinking when they named their children. The celebrities for example: Blanket, Rumer, Tallulah, and Phinnaeus. How much thought did these celebrities put into the selection process? Did they think about the children and what they would have to endure growing up in this world? Oh, these are celebrity’s children they won’t be in the real world.

For those of us who live in the real world, these names would be banned in Chihuahua, Mexico. Authorities in Chihuahua don’t want foreign, odd or creative names used or odd spellings. If parents do use a foreign name, they must use a Spanish surname such as Maria. I’m for Maria, my middle name is Marie. Don’t you love it! I decided to check out a database of Hispanic names. I wanted to see what was so great about Spanish names that authorities would enforce such a rule. Here’s a sample of the names listed in the database under A: Argentina, Africa, Adabelle for girls. Adelio, Achill, and Abdallah for boys. I believe parents should be able to name their children without interference from the authorities or anyone else, but I personally would not choose any of the names listed above for my children. I would not want to place the burden of carrying any of these names on them. For those who have chosen one of these names, no offense. I’m just expressing my opinion. People’s taste are different.

When I was in school, I knew a girl by the name of Candy Kane. She was tortured; kids can be cruel. Here’s a few other names that make me shake my head in disebelief: Apple, CoCo, Whizdom, Avon, Dianionique, and Puma. I see legal trouble surfacing when some student starts torturing and humiliating these poor children, and parents start yelling harassment! Do you think these children will take on an “alias” at some point in their life? Who knows they may end up loving their name.

I don’t believe that anyone should have the authority to dictate what a parent should name their child, but I do believe that some thought should be put into a child’s given name. It is something they will have to live with for the rest of their life. For the Mexician authorities, I wonder if the parents will have legal recourse if they choose one of the names that they have selected and the child is ridiculed. Will the parents be able to sue the authorities? After all, they enforced the rule.

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I Mind Very Much If You Smoke

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Should smoking be banned in private vehicles? If the Marco Firebaugh Memorial Children’s Health and Safety Act of 2006 is passed, drivers in California will be fined if they are caught smoking with a child under the age of six in their vehicle. This applies to moving or parked vehicles. Vehicles on private property will not be an exception. If you pull into your driveway and decide that you want to light up before you enter your home, don’t have a child under the age of six in your vehicle. I don’t know if you will be forced to the ground and asked to place your hands behind your back so they can slap handcuffs on you or not (now there’s a picture for you), but the driver will be warned the first time and fined a $100.00 thereafter.


Lets take a look at this bill: health professionals who testified on behalf of the bill stated that recent studies show that secondhand smoke contributes to high rates of bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma in children. I personally believe this is true and I’m all for protecting our young, but why doesn’t this bill apply to children over the age of six? How can they leave out children of any age? Are they saying that children over the age of six aren’t harmed by second hand smoke because they can sit in the front seat of the vehicle or they don’t have to be in car seats? What about teens? I’m not understanding the logic.

Furthermore, are they going to pull police patrols from crime ridden neighborhoods to monitor private vehicle owners who smoke and their children? Do you think they are trying to shift the focus away from their smog infested cities to smokers because they can’t clean up their own state? You would think that one of the most smog infested states in the country would be more concerned about the rapists, murders, robbers, molesters, and gangsters rather than someone’s personal vehicle. If they’re not going to concern themselve with the criminals, you would think they would be trying to elininate the smog that’s affecting all of their citizens instead of focusing on smokers and their children. The obviously don’t see that the smog is contributing to these ills as well! What’s next, a bill that allows police officers to peep through the windows of private homes to detect parents smoking around children under the age of six?

Back to the controversial cigarette. If this product is so harmful, why is it legal? Could it be the almighty dollar? Industries make billions of dollars on the sell of tobacco annually. If these products are legal, how can one be fined for using them? Why don’t they fine the tobacco companies for perpetrating an addiction? To me selling cigarettes and fining a person for smoking them makes as much sense as alcohol being sold to an alcoholic, but locking up the alcoholic after he kills someone, beats the crap out of wife or kids, gets fired from their job because he or she is dysfunctional from the effects and can no longer provide for his/her family, and than costing society thousands of dollars for rehabilitation.

Lets look at this from another perspective, are they questioning a parent’s decison making skills? If a parent won’t protect their child from second hand smoke, they will. If they are so righteous and adamant about protecting children, why aren’t they protecting “all” children. I think the citizens/parents in this country should question these lawmaker’s decision making skills. What’s your thoughts?